On Air Now
The Smooth Sanctuary with Andrew Castle 6pm - 10pm
2 January 2018, 09:42
Panic stations, everyone. Experts have predicted that the world could run out of chocolate in the relatively near future.
Why, you scream? Because of global warming.
Cacao plants, which can only grow under certain conditions with high humidity and plenty of rain, will apparently struggle to survive the increase in temperature that is predicted over the next few decades.
This will lead to a loss in moisture that scientists don’t believe will be fixed by natural rainfall. This has caused officials in chocolate-producing countries like Ghana to choose whether to push cacao production areas into mountainous areas, which would then lead to issues for wildlife.
They will need to either disrupt dying ecosystems, or give up on chocolate. Not only that, but last year it was predicted that a chocolate deficit will occur due to excessive consumption.
Large stockpiles of cocoa are decreasing in number, and our current methods of farming aren’t able to keep up with demand, and these changes in the environment will make it even harder for plants to grow. One expert has said that this could lead to a deficit of 100,000 tonnes of chocolate per year.
"Unlike other tree crops that have benefited from the development of modern, high yielding cultivars and crop management techniques to realise their genetic potential, more than 90 per cent of the global cocoa crop is produced by smallholders on subsistence farms with unimproved planting material," Doug Hawkins, from Hardman Agribusiness, told the Mail Online. "All the indicators are that we could be looking at a chocolate deficit of 100,000 tonnes a year in the next few years."
For the time being, chocolate shortages won't be a problem anytime soon, so don't start buying Dairy Milks and Creme Eggs in bulk just yet. Experts are saying that we should at least start buying more fair trade chocolate bars in order to make sure that those who make them are getting properly compensated.